A Farewell to Steve Jobs

At the taping of the “Today” show this morning, host Matt Lauer asked members of the audience to hold up their Apple products in tribute to Apple founder Steve Jobs. Almost everyone gathered outside NBC’s New York studio raised their hands, proudly waving iPods, iPhones and iPads.

Yesterday, Jobs, the man responsible for introducing these well-designed, user-friendly gadgets to the world, died following a seven-year battle with pancreatic cancer. He was 56.

In his life and especially after his death, the Apple and Pixar Films founder has been lauded as a visionary on a par with Thomas Edison and Henry Ford.

Since launching the first Macintosh personal computer in the garage of his parents’ suburban California home, Jobs has helped to change our relationship with technology. Along with Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak, he introduced smartly designed personal computers that were less intimidating and more intuitive to operate. One woman, speaking of her first “Mac,” told an interviewer, “I didn’t know whether to turn it on or hug it.”  Later, Jobs found a way to popularize digitized music with the introduction of the iPod. His iPhone allowed us to carry miniature computers in the palms of our hands.

At Unplug and Reconnect, our concern is that sometimes we become too preoccupied with technologies such as those introduced by Apple – to the detriment of the people and events that are meaningful in our lives. It’s then we need to achieve a new balance in our lives.

Jobs’ Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak might agree. In an interview a few years ago, he lamented the complete dependence on technology that many possess and wondered if there should be a 12-step program to help cure technology addiction.

“All of a sudden, we’ve lost a lot of control,” said Wozniak. “We can’t turn off our Internet. We can’t turn off our smart phones. We can’t turn off our computers.”

But that’s not to say we don’t appreciate the technologies introduced by Jobs. The iPhone, iPad and iPhone certainly make our lives easier, our work more efficient and productive, our spare time more entertaining. One can only imagine where Jobs’ creative genius would have taken the world next.

As we like to say, “Love Technology . . . Love People More.”

Rest in peace, Steve Jobs.


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